Jack Nunn Roworx

Top 5 Technical Mistakes For New Indoor Rowers

Anyone can row…however not everyone is proficient in rowing technique which is important in every sport.

Everyone knowsjack-row-erg that total body sports such as swimming, golf, and cross country skiing not only require a tremendous amount of power but also a lot of time with technique. Rowing is no different and when you are rowing you control your own pace and resistance. The ability to control your own resistance allows you to maintain rhythm with the group, while selecting your own difficulty level. Rowing is a total-body sport which builds both cardiovascular endurance and strength through repetitive resistance training. Few other sports can provide the total body benefit that rowing does. The Roworx Indoor Rowing program offers a group exercise that’s low-impact, high efficiency, and great for building strength and endurance. Roworx also utilizes the Concept2 Rowing Machine and our clients span in all experience levels, ages, and abilities. But above all, rowing takes a tremendous amount of patience and time in order to learn the proper body mechanics and technical skills to get that perfect stroke hitting every time you push off the feet and pull the handle into the body. Some the top technical mistakes are listed below and it is up to you to be able and identify and correct your own technique for optimal performance.

  1. Lifting at the beginning ‘catch’ or the front end of the rowing stroke. Technical Problem: The individual is sitting straight up at the front of the stroke with the seat rolled underneath and hitting the heels. The shins are either past vertical or not vertical and the body either sits too tall or is leaning too far forward. The individual pulls the handle and muscles the stroke with the biceps instead of suspending the power through the legs and the feet off the footbaords. This wastes a tremendous amount of power as the arms are taking over from the legs and may cause severe strain on the back and all puts the body into a very weak position for the beginning of the rowing stroke. Technical Correction: The seat is back behind the shoulders and is around 6-8 inches from the heels at the front end of the stroke. The shins are completely vertical and the shoulders are just a bit relaxed and rounded towards the front of the stroke as the latissimus dorsi is stretched forward and you should feel like you’re hanging off the chain as you push your feet off the footboards with the seat and hands connected to the feet all at the same exact time.
  2.  Shooting the slide and opening the back too late at the front end of the stroke. Technical Problem: The individual pushes the feet off the footboards and flexes the quadriceps before moving the handle. This means the the individual is using the legs in the stroke but is totally disconnected with the hands and handle on the chain which then moves the flywheel in order to record power. The power in the legs is lost when you shoot the slide or open the back too late during the stroke. Technical Correction: The body, hands, and shoulders need to move with the legs in order to transfer the leg, body momentum, and swing into the stroke.
  3. Holding the handle into the body at the finish and or stopping the hands at each stroke. Technical Problem: The individual is causing the handle to stop either at the front end or finish of the stroke ultimately slowing down the ‘free speed’ and momentum of the stroke. When the handle stops…you stop and cause a break in the stroke which leads to a tremendous amount of lost power. Technical Correction: The handle never stops and keeps moving throughout the stroke just like a conveyer belt. When an individual stops moving the handle at any point during the rowing stroke it is death to speed and efficiency.
  4. Knee bounce with the legs during the end of the drive of the stroke. Technical Problem: The individual has their knee bounce during the finish of the stroke causing a significant loss of power for each stroke. This not only affects the power on the drive but it also causes an early knee bend during the recovery which causes the individual to be late and behind for the next stroke and also makes the handle travel further because it has to go over the knees which is slow and inefficient. Technical Correction: Make sure to drive the legs the entire way down until the knees are extended and hold them down by flexing the quads in order to get the max amount of power per stroke. Look down at your knees and remind yourself to consciously push and hold the knees down each and every stroke so that you can get the highest Watts and lowest split possible.
  5. Pulling the handle in too high on the body and being too rigid at the finish of the stroke. Technical Problem: The individual pulls the handle high above the chest and lean back past a 45 degree angle at the finish. You may think you are getting more length but you are actually getting less and slowing yourself down with less power produced every stroke. Technical Correction: Pull the handle into the mid abdomen and relax the back just a bit so that you are in a way absorbing the handle. The handle should be coming into the body … Not the body to the handle. Also make sure that the elbows are relaxed and natural throughout the finish and that you are not getting a chicken wing finish but instead just a comfortably powerful finish of the stroke.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Ready to Start Training for Your First Triathlon?

Download the Top 10 Essential Tips for Your First Triathlon for Free.